Public policies and social change: Success and continuity of schooling paths

Maria Manuela Mendes, Olga Magano, Ana Rita Costa

Abstract


The consolidation of the welfare state that took place after the 1974 revolution, particularly in the 1980s, improved the living standards of Portuguese citizens. The improvements were directly reflected in Portuguese Cigano families and individuals, although the great majority remain at high risk of poverty. In 2011 the European Council proposed the definition of national strategies for integration of the Ciganos integration, opening the door for achieving better living conditions of European Roma citizens. The national strategies focus on four fundamental domains: education, employment, healthcare and housing. At the present time, Portugal is implementing its National Strategy for the Integration of Cigano Communities. In terms of education, compared to previous generations, Cigano children complete more years of education. However, after the fifth and sixth year of schooling, the number of Cigano children dropping out of formal education increases. Based on a literature review and a survey of policies, programmes and projects, and the analysis of interviews with individual and institutional stakeholders, the aim of this article is to present results of a research project that intends to identify key factors for the success and continuity of Cigano schooling paths.

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